Challenges, challenges…we all have them, don’t we?
Often, these challenges frustrate us and make us feel discouraged. Most of the time, those challenges are the ones that help us pivot and take our services and ourselves as music therapists to the next level!
Sometimes, listening to others talk about the hurdles they have gone through in their journey can be encouraging and motivating to help us keep going on our own journey ?
Feel encouraged by Amy Love, MM, MT-BC as she describes some of the challenges she experienced while building the pediatric music therapy program at St. Jude and get inspired by how she deals with the toughest parts of her job by hitting play:
Beth: What were the biggest challenges you faced when building your program at St Jude’s, and how can the rest of the field benefit from hearing your story? Are there problems that can be generalized across multiple populations? How do you deal with the tough parts of your job?
Amy: So many thoughts. I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced, just working in the medical population in general, is keeping up with all of the lingo, the understanding of different procedures and terminology. It’s kind of like all these people are speaking this language that I’ve never heard before. If you’re wanting to communicate with other people in this area, we really have to take the time to understand what they’re talking about, and how these different types of procedures and diagnoses really impact the care we’re providing as healthcare providers in general.
I think a lot of times as music therapists, we’re wanting people to understand the music lingo side of it, and how music plays a part in the medical environment. But we also have to understand how different medications might impact the way a patient interacts in a music therapy session, or the way that music can really benefit a specific procedure. So, knowing those steps and understanding how that all fits together to better provide care for our patients.
I think this isn’t specific to pediatric oncology. There are so many people in the pediatric population in general, and the medical population in general, where we’re trying to keep up with all of this language, but also keeping true to ourselves as music therapists.
I think courses like this are going to allow us to have that understanding, and apply it to music therapy specifically.
Beth: How do you deal with the tough parts of your job?
Amy: So one of my passion projects right now is starting pediatricmusictherapy.com and I think that this is going to allow us to have a community where we can talk about pediatric music therapy and share the difficult parts of our jobs. When I was going to school, there was never a class on how to deal with patient suffering and understanding how that plays into things like oncology. So I’ve written an ebook about processing, working with patients at end of life, and how we can do that in an ethical way, but also supporting ourselves as music therapists. I’m definitely not the expert in this, but I definitely like to share my experiences and what’s been helpful for me.
Pediatric Oncology CMTE Course
If you’d like to REALLY dive deep into pediatric oncology, then check out Amy Love’s course on Understanding & Navigating Pediatric Oncology for Music Therapists!
By taking the course, you will:
- Discover the impactful role music therapy can play in pediatric oncology
- Gain confidence and competence in the medical terminology
- Learn crucial information for navigating the setting such as diagnoses, treatment options, and symptoms
- Explore your role as both a clinician and member of the patient’s interdisciplinary team
- Enhance your understanding of current cancer care from various healthcare providers